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Thu, Nov 09, 2006

NTSB Says Wind Gust Contributed To Fatal 2005 Accident

Balked Landing Resulted In Departure From Runway

A gust of wind and the pilot's improper technique in handling it... that's the NTSB's take on an April 2005 accident involving a Cessna 177 Cardinal RG in Warren, PA.

The report says the pilot turned final about 3/4 of a mile from the end of the runway at 300 feet. He touched down at the start of the runway at 64 knots... before a heavy wind gust from the left pushed him off the runway.

The plane was still going 52 knots when the pilot attempted to abort the landing. The plane flipped over on its back after hitting fifty-foot tall trees about 480 feet from the runway.

When it hit the trees, the plane was traveling at 55 knots with the flaps set at zero. According to the NTSB, the plane's handbook calls for flaps set to 20 degrees, and 65 knots indicated airspeed for a balked landing.

Pilot Duane Burtner was severely injured in the accident. His passenger, Malcolm Strachan, was killed.

FMI: Read The Full NTSB Probable Cause Report

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